Embracing 'nomadic' lifestyle, Seton-La Salle eyes big season
In a certain respect, the Seton-La Salle High School football team won't have a true home field advantage this season because, unlike most teams, they don't have a true home field.
But, as veteran head coach Greg Perry explained, in a way that is an advantage unto itself.
"We're nomads," said Perry, who is in his eighth year as the Rebels' field boss.
Seton-La Salle - which does not have a stadium on campus - will play two "home" games at Chartiers Valley, one at Baldwin and one at Peters Township.
Those games all will be on Friday nights, which, in Perry's view, is more important than the venue.
"We could get a regular home field if we wanted to play on Saturdays, but I don't like to play on Saturdays," he said. "I believe high school football in Western Pennsylvania should be played on Friday nights, and we do everything we can to get those games on Friday nights, wherever we have to go."
Alternating venues is not a distraction to his team, according to Perry. In fact, it gives his team an "anywhere, any time" mentality which can deflate the opposition's home-field advantage in true road games.
"We're used to it," Perry said. "It's not unique to us."
No matter if they're playing on the road or at "home," when the Rebels take the field fans can expect a Seton-La Salle team with its typical tough defense and potent offense.
The Rebels have six returning starters on both sides of the ball from a team that went 11-1 last season and made it to the WPIAL Class AA semifinal round.
This season, the Rebels' signature offense - known for racking up lots of yards and points - will have a new twist.
Instead of a wide receiver being the "go to" target, a tight end will take on that role, specifically University of Pittsburgh recruit Scott Orndoff.
The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Orndoff caught 20 passes as a wide receiver last season, and has all of the tools needed to be a big-time playmaker, Perry said.
"We have a big tight end, and that's something we have to utilize on offense," said the coach. "We have to get the ball into his hands."
With his rare combination of size and speed - and the versatility to line up next to the offensive linemen or split wide - Orndoff should create matchup problems for opposing defenses at his new position.
"He is capable of going out and getting a one-on-one matchup," Perry said. "He's capable of lining up in the tight end spot and keeping the safety away from our wide receivers. He's athletic enough to create matchup problems against a linebacker ... he can get in space and create problems."
Additionally, Orndoff's presence gives the team a safety valve when plays don't go as designed.
"Obviously, everybody knows the tight end can be the quarterback's best friend when he's in trouble," Perry said.
Senior Luke Brumbaugh returns at quarterback after throwing for 1,484 yards and 14 touchdowns last year.
Perry praised his experience and precision, meaning Brumbaugh should continue the long tradition of stellar Seton-La Salle quarterbacks.
In addition to Orndoff, Brumbaugh's primary targets will be senior wideouts Lou Rotunda and Tim Blair. Junior Tom Rizza will be the feature back, replacing All-WPIAL standout Kevin Hart.
"They will be the guys we will get the ball to," Perry said of his skill players.
Seniors J.T. Colosimo, Nick Agliori and Rob Beck return on the offensive line. Senior captain Nick Sywyj will play fullback, but his biggest impact will be on defense, where he is a force at middle linebacker.
Sywyj, a three-year starter on defense, will be joined by Beck at linebacker, while Agliori and Colosimo will be the key players on the defensive line.
Rizza and Blair return as starters at cornerback.
"We have some spots that we have to fill, but that's what training camp is for," Perry said.
Perry believes a Class AA Century Conference title is possible for the Rebels, though rivals Steel Valley and South Fayette appear to be the teams to beat.
"Our first goal is to try to make the playoffs," Perry said. "We'll take care of our own business and see what happens after that."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pleasant Hills officials adopt farm animal ban
- Third party might review Brentwood police work
- KaBOOM! Whitehall playground built in six hours
- Pleasant Hills students and teachers participate in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
- Baldwin to test sanitary sewer system
- South Hills-area districts makes security changes to bag requirements
- Plan would limit open containers during Baldwin-Whitehall district events
- Brentwood, Baldwin police consolidation talks to continue
- Magistrate to address truancy at West Jefferson schools